UK Police Totally Pwned By Crooks (and Orson Welles on cold reading, Brazil, MIT hacked again)

QOTD: “[Security] is the only branch of computer science where success is defined by how slowly things get worse.” — Matt Blaze

The UK criminal justice system has been totally compromised by criminal gangs.

In what may be a rare example of intelligence agencies doing something socially useful, they evidently put their snoopers to work figuring out just how badly the cops were bending over for the bad boys… and the conclusion, to put it mildly, was pretty bad.

The long story short is that nobody gets convicted unless they don’t know the right people, or do know them but happen to be in disfavor.

I am not sure what the solution is to this kind of thing.

It is perhaps a fair criticism that the idea of ‘criminals running the show’ is a joint British-Italian invention. Still, defending John Q. Public from James Q. Public’s attempts to infringe the former’s rights is essentially the aim of a valid government. (also — possibly — picking up the slack where other institutions fail.)

Perhaps the Brits will get their boffins together and figure out how to roll out civil society a la their countryman Bulwer-Lytton’s “Coming Race,” with order kept by virtue of every man possessing Hiroshima’s destructive power in his pinky. Police corruption, in turn, becoming irrelevant. Police too, for that matter.

As such a thing would no doubt take a few decades, I would suggest a few alternatives worth experimenting with along the way: perhaps creative rather than destructive power, for one. Settling fights by “who can build the coolest sky-castle” just seems more fun.

Equally interesting would be a sort of inverse, defensive capability, along the lines of “swing your fist wherever you like, but if you want it to touch my face you’ve got to ask permission.”

Anyone know any science fiction (besides Bulwer-Lytton) that explores these ideas? I’m kind of curious now, actually. Far more interesting than regular political & social systems, in any case…

Orson Welles on cold reading. Must-see.

Brazil: Interesting. I didn’t know Brazilian president Rousseff had once been described as the “Joan of Arc of subversion.”

MIT hacked again for Aaron Swartz.

“The entire criminal justice system was infiltrated by organised crime gangs, according to a secret Scotland Yard report leaked to The Independent.

In 2003 Operation Tiberius found that men suspected of being Britain’s most notorious criminals had compromised multiple agencies, including HM Revenue & Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service, the City of London Police and the Prison Service, as well as pillars of the criminal justice system including juries and the legal profession.[…]

In its conclusions, the report stated: “The true assessment of the damage caused by these corrupt networks is impossible to make at this stage, until further proactive scoping has been undertaken.

“However a statement by an experienced SIO [senior investigating officer] currently attached to SO 1(3) gives some indication of the depth of the problem in east and north-east London: ‘I feel that at the current time I cannot carry out an ethical murder investigation without the fear of it being compromised.’

“The ramifications of this statement are serious and disturbing and provide a snapshot of the current threat to the criminal justice system. Additionally the fact that none of these syndicates have been seriously disrupted over the last five years provides an insight into the effectiveness of their networks.”[…]

Alastair Morgan, whose brother Daniel was murdered in 1987 before he could expose links between Met officers and organised crime, told The Independent: “Despite all the protestations by police that things have changed since the ‘bad old days’, this doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

“The police have no desire to tackle this. It would be too damaging to have it all aired in open court. The Met is a highly political organisation.”

Scotland Yard said: “[We] will not tolerate any behaviour by our officers and staff which could damage the trust placed in police by the public. We are determined to pursue corruption in all its forms and with all possible vigour. All such allegations and intelligence are taken extremely seriously.””

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